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thoughts on the nba all star game

thoughts on the nba all star game

The workload for Jesus Christ just got a little bit lighter. No longer will he have to hear the daily prayers of Mike Conley as he begs for just one All-Star birth. Instead of asking for a bid to the NBA’s yearly showcase, Kemba Walker will only pray that his alma mater finds its way out of the gutter. All of this happened because about a couple weeks ago, the NBA finally amended their All-Star voting process and allowed for players and pundits to have some input. So let’s play a game of “who’s in my mouth” and see which players can benefit from this rule change. Whoops, I meant to say “who’s in and who’s out.” You can take the kid outta college…

 

Players and media members will each get 25% of the vote. We’ve seen how the players’ opinions differ from pundits, as it was only two years ago when the players selected James Harden as the league MVP instead of Steph Curry. This should make things interesting come voting time. The rift between analytic-loving critics and actual players is evident. How will this play out? I think I have some found some players both these groups can agree to send to the big game.

 

Let’s begin with Conley and Kemba. Conley returned awfully quickly from a serious back injury and is once again leading the Grizz as they boast a good 22-15 record. Sure, he has missed ten games however, that is not enough to keep him out of the festivities. Coming off signing the biggest contract in league history, Conley has proven his worth. Averaging a career high in points, boards and three point percentage, Conley may finally get the bid he deserves.

 

Skywalker helped Charlotte fly out of the gate this season. The Hornets have cooled off however, Kemba has remained red hot. Critics once claimed Walker would perpetually be an inefficient volume shooter. Now the point guard is shooting 47% from the floor and 42% from three. The Hornets are holding down the 4th seed in a much improved East. I think he has a better shot than Conley of earning an All-Star nod.

 

The Greek Freak is a rebound per game away from averaging a double double. What’s more, he leads his squad in points, boards, assists, steals and blocks. Woah. The Bucks are a contender to be a top four team in the East. Giannis has picked up the slack as The Deer are doing this all without the underrated Kris Middleton. If the pundits vote overwhelmingly for any player, it will be Giannis.

 

“I know when that ZingGod bling, that can only mean one thing.” Kristap is straight hoopin’ for the Knicks. Hey, the Knicks are going to make the playoffs, isn’t that weird? The Latvian made a huge leap this year, avoiding the sophomore slump. He should replace Mr. Drummond as a big this year. If this year’s game doesn’t have KP, then something has gone seriously wrong.

 

When you’re the best player on an 22-14 team in the crowded West, you deserve some love. Especially when your name is Gordon Hayward and you’re putting up an efficient 23, 6, and 4 a night. The Jazz have finally put it all together. It’s a matter of time until they are challenging the Rockets for the 3rd seed out West.

 

An even better question than asking who will make the game for the first time: Who will be left out? If the Blazers don’t get above .500 then I really doubt if Dame Lillard avenges his snub from last year. Winning helps. Will fans vote for an aging D-Wade on a new team? They will, even though they shouldn’t. IT4 has boosted his numbers and helped the injury plagued Cs remain as the East’s 3rd seed. But will he get enough votes to repeat as an All-Star? Does John Wall from the disappointing Wizards get in? The West has some more question marks. Someone has to replace Kobe. I am not sure Aldridge makes it in given his underwhelming performance.

 

Here is what could happen in the West:

 

Conley takes the place of the Black Mamba.

KAT fills in for an injured Blake.

Hayward boots out Aldridge.

 

In the East:

 

KP replaces Chris Bosh.

Smell ya later Paul Millsap; enter Giannis.

Kemba kicks out John Wall and deservingly so.

 

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The world is ending and so is the NBA

The world is ending and so is the NBA

The first month of the NBA is basically in the books and everything is going just as everyone predicted. The Lakers are ahead of Portland for the 8th spot in the West. The Spurs are undefeated on the road but miserable at home. Dallas is in last place and the Bulls have not imploded yet. We all saw this coming…said no one ever.

 

The biggest dance craze is one where everyone stands still. A conservative is proposing a 2 trillion dollar bill. The UConn women basketball team looks beatable. My writing has progressively gotten worse with each piece. In the new Harry Potter spinoff flick Colin Farrell turns into Johnny Depp (spoiler) when normally Depp turns into Farrell (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.) We’re living in an apocalypse and why should this NBA season be any different? Let me give you some stats that surely prove the world is ending.

 

Myles Turner is shooting a better percentage from 3 than Jeff Teague

 

Let’s be clear. Turner is shooting 28% from deep while Teague is only shooting 25%. Still, this is not a good sign from a team that desperately needs spacing. For the sake of a colleague named Michael who shall remain nameless, I will not spend too much time busting on the Pacers. But come one Larry Legend, find a way to get some better shooting. Bring George Hill back.

 

Giannis Antewhatever is leading his team is every important statistical category

 

Okay, not every single category. The guy is literally 0.1 assists away from leading in that category too. But, we are truly looking at something special here. The Greek Freak is still a baby in terms of his development and already a force. Try stopping him around the rim and see how that goes for you. As soon as the Bucks get rid of Greg Monroe and decide to play John Henson more, they will one of the scarier teams in the East for years to come.

 

Marco Belinelli is shooting 45% from behind the arc

 

What a difference a team makes. The Italian Stallion shot 30% last year with the Kings. Many blasted MJ for sending a first rounder to Sacramento for Belinelli but let’s give props to some of MJ’s moves. MKG looks solid, Kemba is the most improved player in the league and the Hornets will be a buyer at the deadline. I’m rooting for this team and for Mr. Belinelli to keep up this career high pace.

 

Stanley Johnson is half the man he was last year

 

Remember that time during last year’s playoffs when Johnson put up a good fight against Lebron and co.? Well, Stan Van Gundy doesn’t. The former lottery pick has seen his moneys cut in half as well as his overall stats and I have no idea why. His position competition (KCP and Harris) aren’t exactly superstars. When Reggie Bullock is stealing minutes from you, something is up. I recent string of DNPs without injury says something may be up between Johnson and SVG.

 

 

Avery Bradley is leading the Cs in rebounding

 

Let that sink in for a second. Sure, the Celtics do not have prolific rebounders. Still, a 6’2 guard should not be grabbing 8 boards a game. Especially with Horford back in the lineup. What is more astonishing is that shooting guards normally don’t see this jump in rebounding ever, let alone in their 7th year in the league. AB has vaulted himself into a top ten shooting guard in the league.

 

George Hill is killin’ it

 

53% from the field. 47% from 3. A great A/T ratio of 3.2. Yes, Hill missed a few games already this year but, he is back and his pace has not slowed down. Hill’s numbers are indicative of a player who has maximized his role on his team and therefore the league. The Jazz have a ton of guys who need the ball in their hands. Hill can move off the ball, hit shots and make the right pass when asked to. If this pace continues, Hill will finally get the shine he deserves.

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i’m about to post a TICTRIASH blog but wow we are so team drake over here holy shit

i’m about to post a TICTRIASH blog but wow we are so team drake over here holy shit

 

Isn’t a god damn thing to say about this. We love Doris Burke over here. You love Doris Burke over there. People who have never heard of Doris Burke love Doris Burke. I’m cool with drake but now I think I’m in love with Drake. Can we get a backstory here? Did they smang? Are they just cool? Is she the one chick save half of Rihanna’s conscience who can send this dude back to the corner tail between legs? I have so many fucking questions. Can I get this shirt? Anywhere? For under $120? I want it all.

 

For what it’s worth Drake night is the stupidest fucking idea ever, Toronto is supposed to be a whale of a time but does some really goddam weird stuff with the Raptors, “we the north” – seriously? Long live Doris Burke.

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6 Biggest Surprises of the NBA Season So Far

6 Biggest Surprises of the NBA Season So Far

The NBA season is officially two weeks old, which is just enough of a sample size for people to make sweeping generalizations about teams impending doom or championship caliber. You hear things like “if the season ended today, THEN” and “are the (insert two game losing streak team) in TROUBLE” after a measly 5 game sample size. None of it holds any merit, and all of it is pretty much to drive clicks.

There are some trends that begin to develop after a few games, however, and those need to be addressed. Not “The Lakers are Title Contenders” or things of that nature, but more subtle things picked up from actually watching the early season slate of games.

We compiled a list of the top 6 biggest surprises through the first two weeks, 3 positive and 3 negative, and give them to you right here. Take a look and remember, please stay calm. There is a lot of basketball left to be played.


THE GOOD

HOUSTON, TX - MAY 17: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets celebrates in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers during Game Seven of the Western Conference Semifinals at the Toyota Center for the 2015 NBA Playoffs on May 17, 2015 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

James Harden is Playing at an All-Time Pace

James Harden is currently setting the NBA on fire, and is the very early leader in some major statistical categories. We knew coming into the season that Harden would be ‘fed’ quite a bit more under Mike D’Antoni and the new system that seems to be based around the idea of simply outscoring opponents and ignoring the defensive end of the floor.

What we did not know was the extent of Harden’s uptick in some major areas of his game. He currently has a usage rate of 33.5, which is the highest of his career and good for 35th all time , and his bulk usage has so far paid off in large dividends for the Rockets. The team is only 3-3, but Harden is leading the league in assists with 12.3 per night, he is one of only five players in the league averaging over 30 points per night at 31.5 ppg, and has an effective field goal percentage of 60%. Why is that last bit important? The NBA all-time record for effective field goal percentage in a season is Deandre Jordan at 67%, and Harden’s mark has him in second place in the entire history of the league. The only guard to crack the top 10? Stephen Curry last year at 57%.

Harden is having an MVP caliber season, and don’t expect his numbers to slow down any time soon. He will score 40 or more points tonight against the Wizards and continue to put up gaudy numbers.

embiid

Joel Embiid Was Worth the Wait

Joel Embiid has been a revelation in Philadelphia, and thank goodness he has been. The only positive to take from the 76ers opening two weeks of games that sees them winless in the Eastern Conference cellar yet again has been the incredible play of the Kansas big man drafted number one overall a few seasons ago.

In only 22 minutes per game (a restriction that will be lifted at some point) Embiid is averaging 18.5 points per game, to go along with 6.3 rebounds and 3 blocks. Not only that, he currently leads the league in three point shooting percentage with 67%, including a 4-4 night from downtown against the defending champion Cavaliers.

His fluidity has been the biggest surprise, and just watching him play evokes memories of big men past with the mobility and feel he has for the game. Not making sweeping generalizations as promised, but Embiid has proven very early on in his (technically) rookie season that he has what it takes to succeed and excel in this league.

emba-efficency

Kemba Walker is Growing Up and Figuring It Out

The biggest knock on Kemba Walker over the course of his NBA career has been his inefficiency and lack of consistent play. Well, only a mere five games into this NBA season Kemba is putting all of those nay-sayers in a corner and repeatedly showing them glimpses of an All-NBA point guard in Charlotte.

His play is a massive reason why the Hornets have started the season 4-1, and currently sit in second place in the Eastern Conference.

His usage rate climbed from a 26.5 last season to 30.4 this year, and his effective shooting percentage is at a career best 55%. Those two statistics together tell the story of a smarter shooting, but ultimately more utilized Walker. He is shooting career highs in 3 point, 2 point, and overall field goal percentage, which sees his ‘win shares per 48 minutes’ at a career high .211.

If he can continue to slow the game down, and make the right decisions shooting the ball, he could elevate his game to the level that makes Charlotte a legitimate threat in the East. Well, at least to potentially make the ECF.


THE BAD

angryklay

Klay Thompson Missing Shots

This is less about the missing of completely wide open 3 point attempts, and more about the mental psyche of a player seldom referenced in Golden State any more. Klay will not shoot 19% from deep this season as his numbers show so far through 6 games. That’s just insanity if that drop-off occurred and it simply won’t. What is more concerning are his career lows in free throw attempts, his abysmal usage rate, and his sky-high turnover rate per 100 possessions.

The numbers all suggest the same thing, Klay is a player who is playing uncomfortable. You saw the same thing with Kevin Love in Cleveland, struggling to find a unique role in the offense and bringing down the team’s statistics as a result. When a player like Klay, a pure shooter reliant on the mentality of a killer, starts to feel a small twinge of self-doubt, the shots start to come a little more consciously. He has been thinking about the shot, where it’s coming from, who didn’t touch the ball, or whatever.

He will figure it out, but what the emphasis should be on in Golden State is clearing the mind of Klay and allowing him to pull the trigger freely again. This is concerning through the first 6 games and an obvious storyline to watch every single night on national television.

May 15, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) passes as Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap (4) and center Al Horford (15) defend during the second half in game six of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

John Wall Turnover Problems

The Wizards might need to start worrying about the slow start to their season. Currently at 1-4, they have not been able to find any consistency in their rotations under new coach Scott Brooks and are struggling to even hold on to the rock.

John Wall currently leads the NBA with 5.3 turnovers per game, which is currently on pace to break James Harden’s single season record. It has gotten so bad, that his coaches are charging him $100 for every game he has at least two turnovers.

This needs to end quickly if the Wizards have any chance of getting back into relevancy in the East. As a team reliant on their guard play, one of the two simply cannot be turning the ball over this much if they have any hopes of taking the next step as a team. Turnovers lead to transition buckets, and 5 turnovers per game for a point guard is unthinkable… on a good team.

The Wizards right now, are not. That is one reason why.

anthon

The Rest of the New Orleans Pelicans

All the talk so far this season has been about Anthony Davis and his spectacular numbers so far, but this is dedicated to the front office currently in the middle of the most disgraceful wasted season in recent memory.

One look at the Pelicans roster triggers an onslaught of “WHO!?” reactions at the anonymity of their roster. Any given night they could trot out a lineup and even the most dedicated of NBA fans would have trouble recognizing 2 of them.

Current leaders scorers are Davis with 30 points per game, followed by Tim Frazier (13), E’Twuan Moore (11.7), and Lance Stephenson (9.7 and just got cut from the team an hour ago). This is disgusting. The scene in New Orleans is disgusting. Buddy Hield has so far been disgusting.

The Pelicans are a fake franchise, luckily bailed out by a player who might end up being one of the greatest in his generation. Other than him, they are nothing more than a D-League franchise at the moment. This takes the cake as the worst surprise of the season thus far.



Full Two Week NBA recap podcast coming Wednesday morning. For more of this you can follow @mikeyfowler18 

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overhyped pacers

overhyped pacers

Some of the most overhyped things of 2016:

  1. The Life of Pablo
  2. Chick-fil-a moving up North
  3. Every Sandler movie on Netflix
  4. The new Iphone
  5. My writing ability

 

Also on this list: The Indiana Pacers

Let me be blunt and state that my fellow Open Field writers will not like this. I don’t expect them to. But hey, I can’t let me assessment of the Pacers fall to the wayside just because I am scared of pissing off a couple people. Without a further ado- I hate this Pacers team.

 

Reason 1: George Hill is a better fit than Jeff Teague

 

Teague is the better talent but, not by much. The Wake Forest product has more athleticism than Hill and is a better assist man. But, Hill had a slightly higher 3 point percentage and a significantly higher effective field goal percentage. In terms of shooting the ball, Hill is the better talent. Why is this important? Paul George is the focal point of the team. We know this due to his seriously high usage percentage (30%.) PG13 was allowed to thrive because he had the ball in his hands. What made the Pacers overachievers last year was the fact that Hill was able to play off the ball. He let Paul George create the offense by being a legit threat off the ball, contributing to this team’s spacing. Pairing Teague with Ellis is a disaster waiting to happen. Neither of them have had success playing off the ball; something essential for this team’s offensive flow and success. With Ellis, PG and Teague, the Pacers now have three players who need the ball in their hands to score. There are too many cooks in the kitchen.

 

Reason 2: Speaking of spacing…

 

Do you want to know why the Celtics did not advance past the first round of the playoffs last year? They could not make threes. Sure, they had wonderful floor spacing. But that was because the defense could sag off Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier. It was fake spacing, or defense-generated spacing. I expect the same to happen in Indiana. When Paul George drives and kicks, where doe the ball go? To Monta Ellis who shot 30% from 3 last year? To Thad Young who has never attempted for than 2 a game in his career? Or to an unproven 20 year old center?  Sure, Jeff Teague was a remarkable spot up shooter last year however, he only did so on 10% of his possessions. Hill did so on almost 20%. Teague will be asked to expand into a role I do not think he is ready for; one that Hill damn near perfected. The Pacers will be playing with pace but, the space part…I’m not so sure.

 

Reason 3: Speaking of pace…

 

What fueled the acquisition of Teague was a desire by Larry Bird for the team to play more quickly. He was tired of Frank Vogel and his defense-first agenda, hence the firing then hiring of Nate “Sarge” McMillan. This line up however, is not one perfectly made for sprinting up and down the floor. Thad Young is athletic yet, this will be his tenth NBA season. Draft experts legitimately questions Myles Turner’s ability to run up and down the floor because he looks like a dinosaur when doing so. Ellis is entering his 12th year and George is a year removed from his gruesome injury. Hey, at least the nimble Al Jefferson can come off the bench for some energy. This team wants to run. They simply aren’t made for it. Here’s a nugget for you to ponder: Jeff Teague is only two years younger than George Hill. They didn’t exactly trade for a spring chicken.

 

Reason 4: The competition got better

 

Cleveland did Cleveland things this offseason. Toronto did not add much but, Masai Ujiri is known for drafting players who develop quickly. Count on Norman Powell, Delon Wright and JV to make noticeable, impactful strides this year. Boston vaulted into number two seed talks. Detroit, Milwaukee and Charlotte all will progress naturally. Chicago hustled sideways, not backwards. Oh, and the Knicks could actually win 40 games. Do I think the Pacers will drop out of the playoff race? No. Do I trust Nate McMillan, a guy who has lost in the first round of the playoffs 4 of the 5 times he has made them, to navigate his way to 48 wins? No.

Expectations:

This team will lose more games than it win. On court chemistry is a real issue. What happens when Monta Ellis sees his usage percentage drop to a career low? How will Teague react to not having the ball in his hands? At what point does Thad Young say, “So, I’m on this team just to get rebounds, huh?” Simply put, there isn’t enough ball to go around. Unless, some players get injured, which they will. This faster system is designed to hurt aging players. Jefferson is good for missing at least 20 games. Myles Turner will be playing around 15 minutes more per game; expect him to suit up for less than 70. Ellis is due for wrist sprain. Ironically, I expect this team to perform best when some players are out. Regardless, the East is too good for this team to be anything more than a 6th seed. And, don’t be surprised if they are fighting for a playoff spot. This season’s underrated darlings are sure to underproduce.

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LANKY BRAZILIANS AND THE STATE OF THE NBA

LANKY BRAZILIANS AND THE STATE OF THE NBA

Bruno Caboclo is officially two years away from being an NBA player.

 

The league is back and better than ever unless you consider that parity thing to be an issue. We will shelve that topic now and stick with the “two years away” theme. The lanky Brazilian should be a reliable NBA competitor in a couple of years. In what other ways will the NBA change in the next few years? What teams are lurking in the shadows, waiting for Lebron to meet his most elusive rival to date: Father Time? What owners are doing their best Mr. Burns impression while waiting for the current super teams to phase out? Yes, this current season has just tipped off. Still, I am going to show a little prescience here and look to the future. After all, my Celtics won’t truly be contenders until then always.

 

 

Detroit Pistons:

Drummond, Johnson, Harris, KCP and Ellenson are all under 25. The non-baseball Reggie Jackson is 26. In two years this team will see its core players entering their prime or firmly in it. The team is moving out of Auburn Hills and back into the heart of the city (cue Jay-Z song.) Free agents are never attracted to Detroit however; a reenergized city supporting a growing cast of studs with a proven head coach has tons of potential. The natural growth of this team will make it a fringe contender in a few years. They’re a better point guard away from scaring the hell out of some teams.

 

Fear the Deer:

Or, fear their old jerseys should they ever make a comeback. The NBA landscape is changing. We’re moving towards a game of interchangeable parts and fluidity; position-less basketball. No team is better equipped to adapt to this movement than the Bucks. Giannis can defend and play four positions on the court. Kris Middleton is the league’s best kept secret. The guy can defend three positions and kill you from deep. Jabari is the next generation of hybrid forward; players who are quick enough to defend 3s and strong enough to defend 4s. Think of him as Paul Millsap with a better offensive game (aka a future multiple time all star.) There will be times when you simply cannot discern what player is playing which position. Watch out.

 

Boston:

Some critics hated the Horford signing. Other applauded it, thinking it was the first of many dominoes to fall. I love it. In two years, some Cs will obviously be older however, they won’t be old. If you think this team is scary now, picture it with Smart, Rozier, Brown and a future #1 overall pick gaining more experience. The will be the league’s best blend of veteran savvy and youthful explosiveness. The most well rounded team in basketball, the Cs will be contenders regardless of other changes around the league.

 

‘Sota:

Smell ya, Rubio. I give it until December until the Spaniard is moved. Towns is going to win an MVP in his lifetime. If only he had an uber athletic wing with a growing skill set to compliment him? Oh wait, he does and his name is A. Wiggins. If only he had an uber athletic wing with a growing skill set to compliment him? Oh wait, he does and his name is Zach Lavine. Now he certainly needs an NBA ready point man on the defensive end with floor general potential. Dunn deal. The only way this team doesn’t progress is if Thibs doesn’t let it. Personally, I am worried he will run them into the ground by trying to win a championship in the first handful of years. Hopefully management can step in and allow this team to develop into the C’s future title rivals.

 

Rip City:

Don’t look now, but the oldest member of their core is 27 (Al-Farouq Aminu.) Some loathed the Turner signing but, his ability to run the offense will keep Dame and CJ properly rested as they wait for Golden State to simmer down. Sure, Portland is one more star away. They have the assets to get that star, however. They are waiting in the wings for a wing. There are a few 3s who could potentially want out of their city with two more years of predictable mediocrity. Paul George is on the most overhyped in the league and it’s a matter of time until Jimmy Butler realizes Chicago is a mess. Portland is the Celtics of the West except they actually have a top 15 player. Lilliard is legit and so are their chances of competing for a title in the next two years.

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Ranking Tonight’s Televised Sporting Events

Ranking Tonight’s Televised Sporting Events

Pretty big night of televised sports coming up tonight if you ask me. In a normal universe, where football TV ratings are gigantic and Donald Trump isn’t one of the two people we have to choose from for US President, the absence of an NFL game would seem like a detriment to this kind of exercise.

But with the recent servings of dog poop-infused garbage offered up by the No Fun League – a 6-6 tie, guys, seriously? – I think it’s safe to say that what we have on tap for this evening will suffice.

In reverse order, here are your nationally televised sporting events for this evening ranked based on how excited I am to watch them (plus imaginary betting lines for some reason):

4. NHL: Anaheim Ducks vs. San Jose Sharks (10 ET, NBCSN)

OK, look, it’s a sporting event on a cable channel that quite a few people have access to. Also, I needed more than three games and two sports represented here. Honestly, I quite enjoy a good hockey game…match…what do they call it in Canada? The action is fast, they hit each other (sometimes with their fists), and, have you ever seen a slap shot?

And Anaheim started out as the Mighty Ducks (see above) which really connects with my inner 8-year-old.

But still, it’s only October and neither of these teams are the St. Louis Blues. Sorry, Eric.

Ducks -1

3. NBA: New York Knicks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (7:30 ET, TNT)

The NBA is finally back, and not a moment too soon due to the aforementioned NFL implosion and the presidential election from hell.

As for the first game of the season: On the one hand you have LeBron James, the Cavs defending their city’s first championship in 52 years, and JR Smith’s cartoonish contract; on the other hand, you have the New York Knicks. A lot of good and bad going on in this one, folks.

jrshirtpi-vadapt-664-high-91

The Knicks do have Carmelo and Kristaps Porzingis, but they also have Derrick Rose (who has only practiced a few times since being cleared of sexual assault charges) and Joakim Noah (who says things like this re Rose’s charges).

Cavs -13

2. MLB: Chicago Cubs vs. Cleveland Indians (8 ET, FOX)

A Cubs-Indians World Series would have sounded stranger than any science-fiction ever written just a few years ago. But, here we are.

roy

As a Cardinals fan, I have extremely mixed emotions about what the Cubs are doing. My natural instinct is to hate all of this, but it’s really hard to root against the Loveable Losers finally making it to the mountain top.

And my grandfather on my father’s side was a Cubs fan his whole life. He didn’t live long enough to see even a hint of them turning things around. So, on the off-chance there is some kind of afterlife, I am OK with the dang Cubs winning the dang World Series.

One last thing: The Indians have home field advantage due to the outcome of the All-Star Game, which is the dumbest thing in sports ever, and almost disqualified this game from being included in these rankings. Fix your shit, MLB.

Cubs -0.5

1. NBA: San Antonio Spurs vs. Golden State Warriors (10:30 ET, TNT)

Yeah, the top spot in this list was never up for grabs. The first-time-without-Tim-Duncan-in-20-years Spurs are taking on the greatest collection of basketball talent in history (Warriors).

I’ve seen a bit of preseason hoops and Golden State looks unbeatable. The starting lineup they are able to trot out shouldn’t even be allowed in a video game, much less real life. I can’t wait to see how they play together. I can’t wait to see how many three pointers they make. I can’t wait to see all the hate and vitriol spewed at them. I can’t wait for them to never lose a game.

Just look at this (poor, poor Lakers):

Warriors -52

Enjoy your Night O’ Sports.

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